The Tennessee Department of Health said the state now has seven COVID-19 cases confirmed, and its the first one in East Tennessee.
Health officials said Tuesday afternoon that a case had been confirmed in the Sullivan County metro area, which is in upper East Tennessee. That county includes Kingsport, Bristol and Blountville.
The fifth and six cases, two adult males, were reported out of Middle Tennessee Tuesday.
Other cases were confirmed in Davidson County, Shelby County, and Williamson County. The TDH said going forward, it will no longer identify specific counties where cases are reported — but will report which region of Tennessee the patients are in.
The TDH said the overall risk to the public remains low as COVID-19 is not currently widespread in Tennessee or the United States.
The TDH said it will now post COVID-19 updates online at 2 p.m. each day at this link.
The State Public Health Laboratory is now running COVID-19 testing seven days a week to assist public health authorities and health care workers in identifying cases and treating individuals.
After concerns about the department’s announcement that it would no longer release counties of residence for confirmed cases, officials update the policy to balance transparency and patient privacy.
“TDH will release counties of residence for all confirmed cases, but will not include further identifying factors like age or gender as we balance transparency with our obligation to lawfully protect patient privacy,“ said Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey, MD, MBA, FAAP. “While the department’s standard protocol for outbreaks is to announce information by region, we understand COVID-19 is an evolving situation presenting unique concerns for our communities.“
TDH Recommended Precautions
Tennesseans are encouraged to take routine precautions used in guarding against respiratory viruses:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
• Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
• Stay home if you are sick
• Stay away from people who are sick
Most patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection have mild respiratory illness with fever, cough and shortness of breath. A smaller number of patients have severe symptoms requiring hospitalization.
COVID-19 Information Line
TDH has launched a Tennessee Coronavirus Public Information Line in partnership with the Tennessee Poison Center. The number is 877-857-2945 and is available daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Central time.
The University of Tennessee has also launched a coronavirus website for students, faculty and staff to check updates as senior leadership and offices work together to develop actions and procedures.
- Public health expert warns virus not going away – KSAT San Antonio
- Tesla asks employees to resume production at Fremont car plant despite coronavirus health orders – CNBC
- Major health groups and charities urge Trump to reverse World Health Organization funding decision – CNN
- Public health officials push back on May opening | TheHill – The Hill
- Analysis | The Health 202: Los Angeles is racing to discover the true coronavirus infection rate – The Washington Post
- Some Public Health Officials Not Releasing Coronavirus Hospitalizations : Shots – Health News – NPR
- Covid-19 health-care crisis could drive new developments in robotics, editorial says – The Washington Post
- Lost Your Health Insurance During the COVID-19 Crisis? Here Are Your Options – The Motley Fool
- El Paso virus cases jump to 35 as health leaders warn of increased risk of ‘community spread’ – KVIA El Paso